Applefest visitors enjoy a break in the weather

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:36

WARWICK — The rain stopped, the early morning fog lifted, the skies cleared and once again the traffic on Route 17A was backed up from Mt. Peter to the Village of Warwick. In spite of weeks of storms and flooding the Village and the organizers still managed to welcome an estimated 30,000 visitors to the 23rd annual celebration of Applefest. On the heels of Tropical Storm Irene and subsequent heavy rains the fields at Park Avenue School and Veterans Memorial Park, normally used for parking, were saturated and had to remain closed. However, suitable substitutes were soon found. On the Friday before the event, the amusement ride equipment at Stanley Deming Park had to be dragged across thoroughly soaked fields or relocated to sparsely available paved areas. And although Parkway, the usual route for visitors traveling from the amusement rides area to South St. and downtown Warwick was still closed because of a recent bridge collapse, there were still two pedestrian bridges available in Stanley Deming park. The traditional festival has been held since 1989 to celebrate the local apple harvest. This year, Applefest again played host to about 240 craft and food vendors and there was free entertainment, children’s rides and a traditional apple pie contest. Each year the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Warwick Valley Community Center host Applefest. The popular festival is a major fund raiser and proceeds from the event are used for town-wide community projects and non-profit organizations. The final tally for this year’s event will not be available for several weeks. Last year’s Applefest generated about $40,000. Apple pie contest Here are the winners in the 2011 apple pie contest: Juniors First place: Kieran DeHann of Warwick Second place: Robbie Anderson of Oakland, N.J. Third place: Chris Staffa of Rockville Centre Senior First place: Teddy Ryan of Warwick Second place: Karen Miller of Warwick Third place: John Wanklin of Pompton Lakes, N.J.